The National Academies

ACRP 03-41 [Final]

Common Performance Metrics for Airport Infrastructure and Operational Planning

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: Booz Allen Hamilton
Principal Investigator: Barbara Bottiger
Effective Date: 9/23/2016
Completion Date: 3/22/2018

ACRP Research Report 190 is a reference guide to common performance metrics for airport infrastructure and operational planning. The guidance includes information on how to interpret these performance metrics that can be used for analysis among airports, airlines, and air traffic control. Information is provided on practical application and demonstration of the relationship between common metrics.  This reference guide will be useful for airport operators and planners at a variety of airports/airport systems for improved efficiency and decision making.  The Microsoft Excel-based Smart Guide, an interactive, easy-to-use reference guide, is available on the TRB website (www.trb.org).  
Specific considerations included relevant aspects of NextGen; overall system issues and their impact on airport operations; benchmarking across airports; safety issues in surface movement; airport geometry and its impact on complexity of operations; gate management and ramp tower operations; and federal regulation reporting requirements.  
The interaction between airports, airlines and air traffic systems is evolving and increasing with overlapping projects related to new technologies, integrated operations, and infrastructure development. These include a variety of initiatives, for example: departure queue management, ramp tower operations and utilization, design of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) and other NextGen processes and integration with metroplex airspace, airport participation in the FAA/industry Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) process, and development of operational efficiencies to attract new service. For any initiative, performance and cost-benefit analyses are highly advisable and often used for planning purposes. To support these analyses, metrics are needed to perform accurate and worthwhile comparisons.  ACRP Project 03-41 was designed to consider metrics that are currently in use or proposed by airports, air traffic control and airlines, [e.g., departure and arrival delays, passenger throughput, ASV (annual service volume), ADC (average daily capacity)] and to identify sources of information to develop the metrics (e.g., SWIM [system wide information management], gate management, ASPM [aviation system performance metrics], and BTS [Bureau of Transportation Statistics]).  This reference guide will help airports that have difficulty in evaluating the impacts on operations and will help establish an understanding or a uniform set of metrics that can be used for analysis among airports, airlines, and air traffic control.
Under ACRP Project 03-41, research was conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton, led by Barb Bottiger, in association with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Jviation, Inc., Metron Aviation, and RFMarchi Aviation Consulting, Inc. The research was conducted using a three-phased approach that included input gathered from subject matter experts on the Booz Allen team to develop preliminary drafts of the Reference Guide and initial concept for the Smart Guide. A literature review helped develop and refine a database of performance metrics.   An advisory committee who was consulted on the performance metrics database validated the usefulness of the included performance metrics, and recommended additional metrics. Benchmarking studies were also conducted to compare performance metrics amongst airports.

Published as ACRP Research Report 190


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